The Stratemeyer Syndicate published more than Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins
and Tom Swift. They published a series of thirty-three books by "Jerry West", whose real name was Andrew E. Svenson. My sister, Linda, and I devoured these books on a camping trip. Our public library only had the first book, but Linda's best friend, Patty, owned the series. Linda told me recently that she was always envious of Patty since she owned those books.
But, one summer, we were going on a month-long trip. We were each allowed fifteen books, so Linda and I made sure we took books that the other person wanted to read. Patty was kind enough to lend us some of the Happy Hollister books. The books had titles such as The Happy Hollisters and the Ice Carnival Mystery (set in Quebec) and The Happy Hollisters and the Haunted House Mystery.
Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and Sue. They ranged in age from twelve down to four, the ages of the expected readers. The children in the family were modeled on Svenson's own children. But, the mysteries! The Happy Hollister mysteries were for a younger audience than Nancy Drew, up to about age twelve. The family traveled, but even in the first book, when they moved to their new home, there was a mystery. And, the children became amateur sleuths.
The first book in the series was The Happy Hollisters. The books were written from 1953 to 1969. Since Linda and I were reading them in the sixties, we were the perfect audience for these mysteries. The rights were given to the family after Svenson's death in 1975, and, beginning in 2010, the estate started reissuing the books.
Now, they have a new website, and a new place to discover these books. It's at www.The HappyHollisters.com. These illustrated mysteries bring back such wonderful memories of sharing them with Linda on our trip.
So, how many of you read The Happy Hollisters? I know they're not as well known as the other books from the Stratemeyer Syndicate. But, these books set me on the path of becoming a mystery reader.